Input Stories

AI Helps Buildings Go Greener

Real estate companies are turning to artificial intelligence to help cut emissions from commercial buildings, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

What’s going on: While developers and builders have begun using more energy-efficient design and building methods in recent decades, and governments are introducing stricter energy-use codes for commercial spaces, “more than 80% of buildings don’t have smart systems to efficiently manage their energy use.”

  • Commercial real estate manager JLL “has been making a string of investments to bring AI systems to companies looking to cut their emissions. … JLL says it expects 56% of organizations to pay a premium for sustainable spaces by 2025.”
  • One of its investments is in a firm that installs electric motors and small computers into building systems to better control heating and cooling.

Why it’s important: “AI building systems learn from historical patterns and the daily habits of occupants to predict and power things on and off.”

  • “For instance, software and hardware that automatically manages lights, heating and cooling can help buildings cut 20% or more of their yearly energy use.”

A caveat: Just 10–15% of buildings have systems in place to collect the data needed to make these predictions.

  • As one source told the Journal, “Bad data means you can’t do any kind of schedules, rules or more sophisticated use cases around artificial intelligence. You have to have the data.”

Check it out: Speaking of data collection, the Manufacturing Leadership Council (the NAM’s digital transformation division) is hosting an event in December that will help manufacturers envision what a data-driven industry might look like by 2030. Learn more and register here.

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